is employee of the month
“Most people at St. Mary’s work within their own department, but I’m fortunate because I get to work with all departments,” says Jim Severson, October Employee of the Month and Materials Management Department staff member. Severson begins his work day restocking items in a number of settings, then placing an order with one of the hospital’s major vendors, next he unloads and checks in freight deliveries then delivers them to their respective departments.
“I am responsible for ordering all non-pharmaceutical items which would include needles, syringes, surgical supplies, patient care items such as shampoo, soap, bedpans, bandages, etc,” said Severson. His co-workers, Terri Weibert, oversees the department and orders all office supplies and Therese Hill is responsible for ordering IV solutions and supplies. “Through our association with Essentia Health in Minnesota we participate in a larger purchasing group which means we pool our buying power with other facilities so we pay a fraction of the cost than we would if we ordered items as only one hospital.”
According to Severson, one of the best aspects of his job is delivering the ordered items once they come in. “Staff used to come to the delivery area and start looking through the boxes to see if their order had come in and sometimes take something before we checked it in. Now, I deliver everything. It saves time for people who have much larger fish to fry. Delivering the items provides my co-workers good customer service from our department.”
Severson joined the St. Mary’s Hospital staff five years ago after owning three different businesses and working in the agricultural fertilizer industry both in Colorado and Idaho. At age 21 he owned a service station then an auto repair shop and, finally, a custom fertilizer business. He and his wife, Shawn, an RN who coordinates the hospital’s Visiting Nurse Services program, moved to the Craigmont area in 1989. “We were leaving Colorado with $125 in our pocket and a lot of confidence when my dad gave me a little additional money,” laughed Severson. “We had visited Shawn’s brother and loved the area. The economy was good and the towns were clean, neat and beautiful.”
Some of the words used by the customer service team members who selected Severson included ‘always smiling’; very professional, but finds time to share a smile’; ‘does his best and raises the standard for customer service’; and ‘very conscientious.’
When he is not working he enjoys camping, fishing, hiking and church activities. “I also enjoy most old things like older cars, pickups, antiques, vintage homes, etc.”
He and Shawn have been married 32 years. They raised three children. Andy and Hannah graduated from LCSC and Leah graduated from the University of Idaho as a registered dietitian.
“I’ve worked a lot of places with a lot of people and this is, by far, the best place and the best people. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather work. Everyone is so helpful and so appreciative,” said Severson. “I definitely have the best job anywhere, any place.”